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Thread: When the hell use" In, On e At"?

  1. #1

    Default When the hell use" In, On e At"?

    I have many difficulties to know in what situations use this three prepositions

  2. #2
    StripesTheSkunk

    Default

    IN and AT are closely related. For example, Lets say you are in your house and your friend calls you and asks where you are. You could say "I am in my house" or "I am at my house". Both phrases make sense. Another example is "I am at the store" and "I am in the store". Both make perfect sense, and could potentially mean the same thing, depending on what the person meant. IN is more specific than AT in these cases, as IN means that you are inside the building while AT can mean inside, outside, and anywhere around it. Just remember that if something is IN something else, it is within specific boundaries. If an object is AT a place, it could be anywhere around the boundaries of the place. You usually say that something is AT a place when you don't know the exact location of the object, if that object is moving, or when want to be less specific. For example, IN, OUT, ABOVE and BELOW are specific about the objects' location, and tell the exact spot of where it is. Here are some examples of IN, ON and AT along with some sentences:

    IN is when a Person, place or object is specifically inside the boundaries of another place or object. Examples:

    Person-Place: I am IN the building. This means you have entered the place (the building) and you are inside of its boundaries (the walls).
    Person-Object: I am IN my car. This means you have entered the object (the car) and you are inside of its boundaries (the frame).
    Place-Place: The Park is IN New York. This means that the place (the park) is located within the boundaries of the other place (New York).
    Place-Object: My room is IN the house. This means that the place (the room) is contained within the boundaries of the object (The house).
    Thing-Place: The food is IN the store. This means that the object (the food) is contained inside of the boundaries of the place (The Store)
    Thing-Object: The clothes are IN the box. This means that the object (The clothing) is contained within the boundaries of the object (The box)

    ON is when a Person or Object is specifically on the top of another place or object. You can't have anything on a place, only IN or AT a place. Side Note: When you are on something, you are above it, but still touching whatever that thing is.

    Person-Place: Doesn't work. For example, You don't say that you are ON the park, you say that you are IN the park.
    Person-Object: I am ON the Sofa. This means that you are on top of the object (The sofa).
    Place-Place: Doesn't work. For example, You don't say that Austin is ON Texas, you say that Austin is IN Texas.
    Place-Object: I am pretty sure that it doesn't work. Honestly, I don't even think there are any places that can be on an object.
    Object-Place: Doesn't work. For example, You don't say the Tractor is ON the field, you say the tractor is IN the field.
    Object-Object: The Microwave is ON the countertop. This means that the object (Microwave) is on top of the other object (Countertop).

    AT is when a Person, Place or Thing is somewhere around a Place.*

    Person-Place: I am AT the school. This means that you are around the boundaries of the place (The school).
    Person-Object: Doesn't work. You don't say that someone is AT an object, you say they are AROUND, etc. an object.
    Place-Place: The playground is AT the park. This means that the object (Playground) is around the boundaries of the place (Park)
    Place-Object: Doesn't work. You don't say that a place is AT an object, you say it is AROUND, etc. an object.
    Object-Place: The supplies are AT the Trading Post. This means that the object (The goods) are around the boundaries of the place (Trading Post).
    Object-Object: Doesn't work. You don't say that an object is AT an object, you say it is AROUND, etc. an object.

    Good Luck!

  3. #3

    Default

    Wow. ^^This probably covers everything!

    I'd just say that:
    "IN" means inside, i.e. "contained by", so you could say "the nappies are IN the bag".
    "ON" means on top of, i.e. "above", so you could say "the nappies are ON the wardrobe".
    "AT" refers to physical location, i.e. "the nappies are AT mummy's house".

    In many cases there might be several "correct" ways to say something, but some ways might be considered unusual by native speakers. For example, I would say, "I am ON the train". Technically it's correct to say "I am IN the train", but that would sound strange unless you were trying to distinguish being inside the carriage and outside it (i.e. "I am IN the train" would almost imply "I am ON the train, but not outside of the carriage").

    Geographical places can be thought of either as expansive regions (i.e. the region is a container), so you'd say, "the hotel is IN London", not "the hotel is AT London"; or places can be thought of as single points, so you'd say, "the train is AT Euston", not "the train is IN Euston" (because you would mean very precisely AT Euston station, not very generally somewhere IN Euston but you don't know exactly where)...

    Damn... You think your native language is trivially easy until you try to analyse and explain it. It seems so unnecessarily complicated!

  4. #4

    Default

    Thank you very much everybody! I really appreciated your help!

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